Wiped out of World Championship Tour
LENNOX Head surfer Stu Kennedy is one of three Australians set to miss re-qualification on the World Championship Tour next season.
Bede Durbidge and Josh Kerr are retiring while Ethan Ewing, Jack Freestone and Kennedy will finish the season outside the top 22.
It has been a whirlwind two years for Kennedy who qualified for the world tour after years of chipping away on the Qualifying Series.
He will complete a second full season on the tour at the Pipe Masters Pro at Hawaii next month.
Kennedy, 28, came on to the scene as an injury replacement at the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast last year and made it as far as the semi-finals.
Former Lennox Head surfer Mikey Wright has had his hopes of qualification dashed after falling down the rankings in the QS.
His older brother Owen Wright and Byron Bay based surfer Matt Wilkinson have comfortably qualified for next year.
There are some major changes next year with the Bali Pro in Indonesia replacing the Fiji Pro. Events at Cascais, Portugal and Trestles have all been removed with women set to join the men at the J-Bay Open in South Africa.
The Australian leg of the tour will remain the same with the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast, Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, Victoria and Margaret River Pro in Western Australia.
The Margaret River Pro was on the chopping block but remains for at least another year while the Hurley Pro has been replaced by an event at an artificial wave facility in the US.
"The 2018 calendar has some of the most significant changes we have implemented in many years,” World Surf League commissioner Kieren Perrow said. "While we sadly depart from some locations and say thank you to the communities who have supported us, we are also excited with the return to Indonesia and to hold the first ever CT event in a wave system at Surf Ranch.
"As the sport evolves we will continue to explore opportunities to enhance the schedule, collaborating with our stakeholders - surfers as well as partners.”